Friday, October 17, 2014

Audio Review: Blood Games by Chloe Neill

Blood Games
(Chicagoland Vampires #10)
Author: Chloe Neill
Narrator: Sophie Eastlake
Release: August 5, 2014
Goodreads  Amazon
While Merit didn’t choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she’s managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet...
A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn’t been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren’t on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?


Have I really read ten books in this series? Where has the time gone? Having started the Chicagoland Vampires books shortly after the third in the series was released, I'd say I've made a pretty big commitment to this series over the past few years! And the story lines haven't gotten stale yet. Even with Ethan and Merit as a happy couple - well, mostly happy - I still find myself engrossed in the romance, the mystery, the politics, and the snarkiness - OH THE SNARKINESS! And trying this one out on audio for the first time just added to my pleasure while 'reading'.

Blood Games is the tenth installment is this urban fantasy series and in this one we make probably the biggest leap forward in the plot thread involving the Greenwich Presidium in the series, with the exception of the one where the House defected from the group. This book splits its time between an intriguing murder mystery, that I frankly wish would have gotten a more front row seat, and the drama surrounding Ethan challenging Darrius for the position as leader of the GP.

Murders are turning up around town and Merit, Ethan Jonah (still love the occasional tension between these three), Mallory, and the Ombuddies are out to solve the crime. I liked the theme of the murders and I thought it was an interesting enough story that it could have been pushed more to the forefront of the book. I wanted a little more investigating and a little more mystery, but really this book served to move us along in the story of the GP, which I have to admit I very much appreciated. The drama with Cadogen House and the GP always entertains me and works my last nerve at the same time (like all good political plot threads...) so I am happy that we got to see some action involving the GP and got to see the trials Ethan was put through in his challenge for the top spot in the GP. I was especially pleased at the interesting turn of events at the end of the book and the new turn this plot line will be taking in future books. It will be interesting to see what happens to Cadogen House and where we go from here.

Ethan and Merit's relationship is at times both aggravating and insanely beautiful in this book. There always seems to be some secret one of them is keeping from the other and the stress of that secret always burdens their relationship. This can get old, but the way that Neill makes them stand by each other no matter what is going on and how she always brings them back together in the end makes up for it. And I am highly entertained by all Ethan's fake marriage proposals! That just cracks me up. Ethan and Merit have always been a deeply romantic couple, but at the same time they're sarcastic, they trade quips, and they are in a constant battle for equal footing. This series couldn't just have an overly gushy proposal. It seems like foreshadowing, and hopefully Neill is hinting that we will get a real proposal or even a - Gasp! - wedding out of this couple before the end of the series.

Blood Games sets up the next in the series for the new twist on the GP drama, but also another interesting story line involving Ethan's past. The blurb for book #11, Dark Debt, doesn't hint at this being a big part of the next book but it will definitely be a factor in the story. Looking forward to it and also to more Ethan and Merit.

Notes on the Narrator: Sophie Eastlake's version of Merit is unbelievably spot on. She's exactly how I have heard Merit in my head for the last nine books. She makes the sarcastic, witty remarks perfectly. Her voices for Mallory and Lindsay are also perfect. Her voices for the males in this series are, sadly, not perfect. Ethan, Catcher, and Jonah all have deep, grandfather voices...exactly the same as her voice for Merit's grandfather. When I started this one on audio I was less than impressed and definitely disappointed. Luckily, I got used to the voices for the guys and they didn't bother me after a while. And her version of Merit is so eerily amazing and perfect that it honestly made up for her weird choices for the men. I plan on listening to the rest of this series on audio and recommend it if you don't mind Ethan's odd voice!

Recommended for fans of: urban fantasy, leather jackets, kicking ass in boots, sexy vampire masters, urban fantasy, and vampire politics.

  4 / 5 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Biting Bad (CLV #8)
House Rules (CLV #7)
Biting Cold (CLV #6)
Drink Deep (CLV #5)

1 comment:

  1. I've gotten behind on this series and need to get caught back up. I got a little upset with some stuff with Ethan which made me want to abandon the series, but I've been told by several people to give it another shot. Reviews like this one make want to do just that.


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